Out of the Blue: My 2014 wish list

With all due respect to members of the Laguna Beach City Council and their proclamations for what they want to accomplish in 2014, here are some of mine:

10.) A well-lighted, sensuous, groovy, late-night lounge with sofas and chill house music in which adults over 30 can hang out after dinner and have conversations without shouting. Will one of you local restaurant/nightlife mavens please do this, already? You'd kill.

9.) More ad copy like this one for RocknFish's $5 Navy Grog: "Our signature cocktail will be sure to knock your socks off, and if you have one too many perhaps you off your bar stool." Isn't that one too many pronouns? Had to have been one too many Navy Grogs.

8.) More stories like the one about the guy who called police claiming to have been robbed by the bodyguard of the stripper he hired. Seriously, dude? You were ready to press charges over $150 when you were prepared to pay $300? It's a cancellation fee.

7.) More juice bars: First there was Whole Foods. Then Nekter and Living Juice, and now Ritual Cleanse is coming to town along with local impresario Chris Keller's entry. Even Art of Fitness got into the act. We must have the cleanest colons in South Orange County.

6.) A Redz Memorial: We have two sculptures of The Greeter, plus the Waterman's Wall. How about the late, great "Red One," Eric Morton, the man who created the flourishing reggae scene in Laguna? Our artistic culture would be so much lamer without him.

5.) A skate park: I can't believe then-Mayor Kelly Boyd and Councilman Steve Dicterow let this die on the vine. Just because of pushback from one neighborhood? Come on, guys. That was the wrong place anyway. We need one in public view so we can witness the pageantry of these artist-athletes. How about next to the basketball courts at Main Beach, where it belongs? Skating is in our DNA.

4.) A holistic view of biking: Let's follow the Hans Rey Way with purpose-built trails that can get families from town to the top of and into our coastal wilderness. And then get the visitors bureau and our hotels to make a push for more cycling-related tourism, a great boost to our economy (without the stink of exhaust).

3.) More divisive issues in City Hall so I don't have to work too hard at coming up with column ideas.

2.) My perennial numero uno, the Forest Street Promenade, has dropped to No. 2 but not because its importance has diminished. This is the single most transformative thing we could do for our town to maintain its charming character, create community and diminish the malaise of cars congesting what should be our shining downtown public space. It could be home to cafes cascading onto cobblestone sidewalks, artistic benches and bike racks, soft lighting and buskers. We don't need to wait for an urban planner to tell us it's a good idea. We all know it instinctively. So does Councilman Bob Whalen. And he has vowed to test it. This is tremendously exciting news.

1.) Jason Feddy on the radio, 24/7. With all due respect to all the other fantastic jocks at KX93.5, I have never heard a wittier, more insane or fresher voice on the radio. What comes out of his mouth astounds me — like reminiscing wistfully for the days of smoking on airplanes. Definitely capable of knocking me off my bar stool. But safer than a Navy Grog. Though I could get arrested for a DUIF – driving under the influence of Feddy.

Happy new year, everyone. Let's make history in '14!

BILLY FRIED is the chief paddling officer of La Vida Laguna and member of the board of Transition Laguna. He can be reached at billy@lavidalaguna.com.

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